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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Efficient Management and Use of Animal Manure to Protect Human Health and Environmental Quality

Location: Food Animal Environmental Systems Research Unit

Title: Seasonal variation in heat fluxes, predicted emissions of malodorants, and wastewater quality of an anaerobic swine waste lagoon

Authors
item Loughrin, John
item Quintanar, A -
item Cook, Kimberly
item Lovanh, Nanh
item Mahmood, R -
item Bexerra-Acosta, E -

Submitted to: Water, Air, and Soil Pollution
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 5, 2012
Publication Date: March 29, 2012
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/55939
Citation: Loughrin, J.H., Quintanar, A.I., Cook, K.L., Lovanh, N.C., Mahmood, R., Bexerra-Acosta, E. 2012. Seasonal variation in heat fluxes, predicted emissions of malodorants, and wastewater quality of an anaerobic swine waste lagoon. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. 223:3611–3618.

Interpretive Summary: Swine waste lagoons are a major source of malodorous emissions from animal rearing operations. The release of Para-cresol, an important animal waste malodorant, was mathematically modeled for a lagoon through the late winter through early summer. In this model, Para-cresol concentrations were predicted based on evaporation from the lagoon surface and radiation emitted from the lagoon surface. The model predicted that para-cresol concentrations would be highest during the months of March and April, decline greatly during the month of May, and to be almost zero during the summer. In the same period during which predicted emissions increased, wastewater concentrations of malodorants decreased. While other indicators of wastewater quality such as ammonium and chemical oxygen demand also decreased in concentration, the magnitude of their improvement was not as high as for the malodorants. There were no pronounced differences in bacterial populations between the cool and warm seasons. While bacteria may play a role in breaking down malodors in waste lagoons, our findings indicate that losses due to evaporation also play a strong role.

Technical Abstract: The concentrations of p-cresol above a wastewater lagoon were modeled from February through June based on equations developed in a previous study. Using this model, in which p-cresol concentrations were calculated based on lagoon evaporation and net available radiation at the lagoon surface, predicted p-cresol concentrations were highest during the months of March and April and declined to very low levels thereafter. This was in accordance with observed emission patterns in the previous study. In the same period during which predicted emissions increased, wastewater concentrations of malodorants decreased. While other indicators of wastewater quality such as ammonium and chemical oxygen demand also decreased in concentration, the magnitude of their improvement was not as high as for the malodorants. There were no pronounced differences in bacterial populations between the cool and warm seasons based on molecular quantification of genes targeting total cells, Bacteroides, Clostridia and methanogens. While the improvement in the concentrations of wastewater malodorants may be due to catabolism by lagoon bacteria, our findings indicate that evaporative losses that occurred as the lagoon warmed may also play a strong role.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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